April 19, 2009

Chinese GP: Shock result? Not really. Surprise maybe.

All I read today were headlines proclaiming a shock result because of the Red Bull one-two In China. Why? it was quite clear from pre season testing that Red Bull had a hell of a car and one designed within the so called "spirit of the rules". No smarty pants diffuser, no holes that aren't holes, just a good car. If Vettel had not had that moment with Kubica in Melbourne and the resulting penalty in Malaysia, nobody would have talked about how Brawn could already start to break out the 2009 championship t-shirts yet. Certainly that Sebastian Vettel is a great talent is not a shock.

However, a few things were undoubtably surprising on Sunday, that Renault would throw away a race by pitting after seven laps run under the safety car. If it had been a normal start, in the dry, that means they would have pitted after 3-4 laps? Yes, they were light, but I think they were trying to be too clever and ended up tossing the race.

Surprising were the number of mistakes Lewis Hamilton made, his excuse was that his tires were shot...ok, how did they get that way?
Surprising was to see a spark from Kovalainen. He really needed a result and I'm happy Mclaren did not order him to pull over for Hamilton, I'm sure against the protest of Hamilton Sr.

Surprising to see Ferrari do quite well with Massa, third at the time he was let down by the car, I was not surprised by Raikkonen's bland race. There is a serious problem there.

Surprised at how lost BMW seems. They thought they were really ahead of the curve with their KERS system but unlike Renault and Ferrari seem reluctant to abandon it and find a new development path.

Surprised at how few people see this diffuser issue as a political wedge brilliantly used by Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone to crack the unity of the FOTA. Latest talk has Brawn considering leaving the constructor's association, presumably in thanks for FOTA's help in getting the team off the ground. You're going to hear some good ones soon.

Finally, I was surprised that people were shocked, shocked I tell you, over Flavio Briatore's comments that drivers are car dependent. Yes, ladies and gents, he made the absurd claim that drivers go faster when they are in a dominating car. Shocking! That Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello moved from last on the grid last year to podiums this year is entirely due to what, Ross feeding them cheetah sandwiches for lunch? Shocking, how dare the Flavionator?
All the guys who race in F1 are potential winners if they have the right car on the right day, now a champion, that's another story, that takes consistency over 17 races...

Anyhow, great race. Not sure who's happier, Vettel that Buemi did not hit him too hard or Buemi that he did not take out the winning Sebastian... Close one there!



  1. “It was almost too difficult to drive at the beginning of the race. But I found a good pace and had some fun in the opening laps, but unfortunately I destroyed my tyres quite early on. I made a few too many mistakes today. It was very slippery and my front-left tyre was finished long before the end but I still gave it my best. This afternoon was a real struggle but I’m glad I got some points for the team.”

    lewis quite obviously openly takes the blame for the tire shredding and the mistakes. please stop making it seem like he's some prick who never admits fault.

  2. "I only lied (twice) because they made me ... Honest, I'm not lying"
    Maybe Hamilton should have thought it through before tossing Dave Ryan under the bus?

  3. neither of us has insider information concerning the whole "lie-gate" debacle ie where the lies originated and who influenced who. all we can concretely say is that ryan got fired while ham didnt. stating that the lies originated from hamilton is just an assumption, and therefore isnt a very good retort to my annoyance towards this blog for blatantly ignoring that hamilton clearly placed the blame on himself for destroying his tires in china seemingly in an effort to invent a "bad guy" in f1, which was what my original post was about. im not arguing that hamilton is or is not a good guy (how could any of us determine that without buying a ticket to geneva and pestering him for a few days?), im simply asking you guys not to purposely shroud what drivers say and how they act in order to suit your own agenda. i love this blog and visit it regularly, but have often been put off by its unabashed, and sometimes unfounded, negativity towards certain people.

  4. You're missing the point, Hamilton DID lie, not once but twice. Then he tried to make it seem like he was the innocent rube forced into the evil act (twice) by the team with a very contrived apology nobody bought. He then started dropping hints that he would leave Mclaren (now not competitive coincidentally) and Dave Ryan who worked at Mclaren for longer than Lewis has been alive and possibly even Ron Dennis left as a result... Why in the world should he get a free pass on that?

    If you are a reader of this blog, you will know that we always gave the highest praise to Hamilton for his driving skills, he is one of the 3 (4 on a good day) drivers with that special something in F1 right now. His off the track people skills I will admit, I'm not a big fan of.

  5. I'm quite interested in who the extra one on a good day is

  6. I would say Massa in the middle of last year, but now it seems he can do it on a wet track, too.

  7. I rate the top four as Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen. The last being the "on a good day" guy, Not many good days lately and has been badly showed up by the less (super) naturally talented but harder working Massa.

  8. I have to post another dig at the entire LewHam myth. Despite my great appreciation for Hobbs . . . the constant references to Hamilton as a guru in the rain are overblown, and I think Shanghai put a definite dent in that distinction.

    Right car and right day . . . so true . . . and one of the greatest aspects of F1. Warwick's drive to 2nd at Brands Hatch. Salo's virtual victory for Ferrari at Hockenheim . . . those are just a couple examples. I think it only demonstrates that for the most part . . . most of those on the grid deserve to be there.

    The key, however, is remembering that at this level winning consistently really says something. In my mind, the entire right car/right day theory only boosts the achievement of those who win despite that equation.

  9. the BBC info from quali pointed to Alonso pitting on lap 9 if the race was under normal conditions. Starting under the safety car completely ruined their strategy as he was so much lighter than everyone else he was bound to end up at the back of the pack. You could see the disappointment on Pat Symonds face when he was interviewed pre-race.

    Also, i couldn't stand the guy on ITV but James Allens blog is pretty good and informative http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/

  10. I thought you 'good day' meant 'clear weather'... got it... I also thought Button was probably among the top three, he's good when BAR was still in the business, he just hadn't got a good enough car

  11. I think Hamilton is still a good guy and whether he knowingly lied only he knows. As Ryan who has "hand fed" him his whole McLaren life quite possibly fed him a whole lot of B.S. and being a young guy with McLaren like parents you go along with it. I think you're too hard on him, what about Kimi? That guy is a complete P.R. disaster for Ferrari & Sponsors and from the sounds of it - a prima donna. It sounds like he doesn't really care what an amazing opportunity he's been served and presented with. Look at Massa, that guy should have every reason to be pissed at Ferrari but each race he goes hard and to my knowledge never knocked Ferrari in a negative way or showed ill-representation. Or what about Alonso? He cries a lot too.

    Either way there is some serious young talent rising and Formula 1 is interesting again.

  12. You gotta give axis props, it's been skeptical of Hamiltons motives and character since he joined the sport. Look on the forum, nothing but anti-Hamilton threads with no replies from a year and a half ago.

  13. Briatore did not just say the drivers were good now that they're in good cars, he attacked the drivers talent and ability to compete in the sport at any level.
    And now he's attacking brawn and it's income.

    He's extremely bitter.

  14. As for my top drivers in no particular order

    Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Kimi and now Button if he can keep up with having a good car. Oh Massa should be in there too. Also Kovaleinen shows a lot of promise.

    As for other drivers I don't know how Nakajima is still in it with all his offs!

    I'd like to see Sutil in a good car.

  15. nope, not missing the point, which, by the way, was totally irrelevant to my original post. if we go back, my point was that, in this instance, youre purposefully misrepresenting someone to invent a culture of dislike towards him. thats pretty pathetic. that is literally all i said. the whole lying thing was brought in by you, and has no connection to my post.

  16. Briatore in my mind is a good sh!t disturber, he knows how to stir the pot and must have a way with words - Heidi Klum!! I don't like him though, but he adds entertainment for sure!

  17. Say what you will, but technically Brawn is NOT entitled to the money. The thing with Briatore is that people tend to take his provocation too literally. Like BC said, much is bluster. But there is the real issue of Brawn playing SO perfectly into Max+Bernies game plan....there was no way the diffusers were ever not going to be legal. Now perhaps we know why Max was so eager to have this Most Wins is the champion scheme!

    A Button/Brawn championship would be the perfect anti-FOTA bomb!

  18. It's not Brawn GP's fault to have the diffuser. And Briatore is just being childish and not happy about their mass damper ruling

  19. @ Sorrento

    Yes I read Allen's and Joe Saward's blogs every day. But I also check out foreign blogs like Giancarlo Minardi's who always has some interesting things to say from a different prospective.

  20. Going back to the Hammy...
    I have not regret in raising my hand against LW since the very early days, but always giving him credit for his driving skills (ever since the day I saw him driving in GP2 on the Swimming Pool stands at Monaco in 2006).

    The guy is just a bad soul. Has always wore (McLaren trained) the media face on the outside but has slipped many, many, many times (in just 2 years!!) to show his real dark side.

    Yes, he is good enough and can win the championship if he has the fastest car on grid, but it is nothing special with a midpack car. What pisses me off of the LW fans is that few of the Brits of them turned over to support JB when he started dominating this season. Would LW be the semiGod some claim to be if he had started his career on a BAR-Honda or Toro Rosso?

    As drivers go, IMO, the best one of the grid is Alonso. Kimi was there but something shortcircuited last year inside his brain. Vettel can dominate (ala Schumi) once he matures into consistency, and there are many others capable of winning a championship if they are consistently given a front row car (Button, Kubica, Massa, Webber, and Hamilton).

    Drivers don't have to be nice guys. I actually preferred those with personality and bad temper, like Montoya, Irvine, etc; but I genuinely hate those smiley bastards that are SOBs on the inside but always wear the politically correct smile and pretend to be mother Teresa (Schumi included in this group)

  21. I can't believe you guys are not mentioning Kubica anymore as one of the top 3 (or 4). OK, they will have to make some rule changes (weight distribution and KERS) for next year if he wants to become world champion, but I think he might do it 2010 (maybe in Kimi's seat). Kubica is actually the only one of the drivers who dares to be outspoken these days and dares to show some personality. I do miss Eddie Irvine.

  22. 'Kubica is actually the only one of the drivers who dares to be outspoken these days and dares to show some personality.'... If there is only one it should be Alonso.

    Kubica is good, but top 3? not sure...

  23. Raikkonen reminds me of James Hunt with less personality - talk about personality and out spoken in his day.

    I'm a BMW Sauber fan - but given Heidfeld and Kubica's pace this last race - I'm not holding my breath this season.

  24. A perfect example of what happens once you lie
    Basically you will spend a long time defending yourself and still nobody will believe you...

    Whitmarsh says "someone is out to get us"

  25. as other sites described... a F car racist fan site.

  26. Race car drivers, like other famous people, are famous because of one and only one skill - winning. Their off-track antics should be ignored. Invariably most winning race car drivers a pushy, aggressive, me-first people who do not make good friends, spouses or children. In short they are a**holes.

    Many successful drivers become nicer off-track over time and many former champions are fun to be around. But when in the heart of their careers very few exhibit good personalities.
    There are few exceptions but they really stand out. Phil Hill and Mark Donohue come to mind but I am sure you could name others.

  27. being the poster of the original comment on this entry, which had led to all this discussion about whether or not hamilton or other drivers are good people, i thought it important to remind the author of this entry that my post was not concerned with the good guy/ bad guy argument. it was and is solely meant to point out the blatant inaccuracies of this blog, as evidenced by the misrepresentation of hamiltons comments. itd be great to hear the authors opinions, i know we're all for that, but to have those opinions manifest themselves as purposeful slandering and misleading posts is a huge disappointment, i think, for a lot of readers of this blog.

  28. "The guy is just a bad soul."

    I've deleted Axis from my bookmarks thanks to this.

    Unbelievable the childish judgments getting passed around here.

    "Just Tracktards" is an ineffective disclaimer. It cannot possibly absolve the hurtful, curt and likely racist things you have to say.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Promote something positive in your blog topics for once. "He did shitty. He did shittier. Let's post some copyrighted video so we can point fingers and laugh."


  29. Racist? If you want to be an adult, please point out any racist post I wrote. People are free to comment here, you included so inevitably you are going to get differing points of view. If you have been a reader, as you claim, you will remember we gave Felipe Massa a hard time after last year's British GP. as did the majority of the UK based motoring press coincidentally....was that racist too?

    I just find sweet irony that Lewis Hamilton cannot be touched, the man who is supposed to be the new "rainmaster" spun more than Nakajima in China.

    THe Other Anonymous accuses me of reporting errors, again precisely what was the error, read the post... report back with precise details on the alleged offense.

    As far as the dramatic erasure of the bookmark, well, thanks for reading, come back when you feel better!

  30. im the original anonymous poster, and you can see my claim as to your "precise error" in the first comment. i give you the quote from ham, which clearly states that he takes the responsibility for the worn tires. you, on the other hand, claim that he just brushes off the tire wear on some unknown, basically claiming hes a pompous prick. which, if you read the quote ive provided (in the first post, if you havent, thickly, already gleaned that information, as you seem to have not), which clearly shows he takes full responsibilities for his mistakes, unlike you've attempted to illustrate. im making no claims that youre racist and all that in any way, solely that you misrepresent people in an unfair and malicious way. if you believe this is not the case, i would love to hear your counter argument (if, this time, its actually relevant to my post, as it clearly wasnt with your first retort).

  31. Jon, I do nothing of the sort. I wrote Hamilton blamed the tires, which he did as per the post race quote. Here is the totality of what I wrote about Hamilton"
    "Surprising were the number of mistakes Lewis Hamilton made, his excuse was that his tires were shot...ok, how did they get that way?
    Surprising was to see a spark from Kovalainen. He really needed a result and I'm happy Mclaren did not order him to pull over for Hamilton, I'm sure against the protest of Hamilton Sr."

    You are being very creative with your expanded psychological interpretation of it.

    Like you said, Lewis blamed worn tires for his spins but, of course he could have been lying about that! :o)

  32. AC,

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out that you have been painting LH in an unfavorable light! Since this blog is the only source of information that I could find on F1, I had just assumed that that is the way he was. Now thanks to the informative comments above I know that you have cleverly mislead me into making assumptions about his character. 


    Thank you for this valuable information. Could you tell me where on the www I can find a blog that doesn’t believe that my hero, Michael Schumacher, “parked” his car at Monaco? Because I don’t believe that my hero could have done wrong either!

  33. Racist? What do assessing or expressing an opinion about someone else's personality has to do with Racism?
    I dislike LH as well as Schumacher, while being a big fan of Montoya (unitl his quitter's looser move to Nascar). That is just my opinion and is supported by factual behavioral evidence.

    good post Rich!


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